05Jun 2014

Planning advice on integrated water management published

Peter Bide


A new Advice Note for planners has been published. This Advice Note provides a one-stop-shop to de-mystify water management and demonstrate the benefits of building it into plans and planning decisions. It shows how to manage surface water at source and through each part of its onward flow in an integrated way using sustainable drainage systems, and makes the links to Susdrain website and guidance on SuDS.


For the first time all the information on the water sector, including water supply, wastewater disposal, water quality and flood risk management, has been brought together for planners in a single source.


The Advice Note presents the information in an understandable and accessible way to show planners what is possible and the benefits they can get from engaging with water issues in an integrated way through partnerships with the other bodies involved in water management.


It signposts a wide range of other guidance and useful sources, and presents numerous examples of good practice to show what is possible, across the spectrum of water issues. It aims to encourage innovation and empower planners to engage with water issues and deliver multiple benefits.


The Advice Note covers:

  • How planners in England can work in partnership to take a holistic approach to managing water to achieve multiple benefits for development and local economies, local amenity, public health and well-being, the environment and biodiversity.
  • The water policy framework, highlighting the relevant planning policy and showing how the different areas of policy fit together and who does what.
  • What integrated catchment management and the catchment based approach are and what they do.
  • What is involved in managing surface water and the benefits of getting it right, including links to flood risk management.
  • Constraints on water supply and wastewater disposal, and how to work with water companies and the Environment Agency to integrate water plans with local plans.
  • The tools and approaches planners can use. The sources of supporting information, evidence and data.


The Advice Note is accompanied by a separate supplementary document containing case studies drawn from across the water sector to shows planners what is possible in practice. Two outputs were developed, an advice note and supplementary case studies:


The Advice Note is intended to help planners in England to implement national planning policy in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), providing examples of how the NPPF might be applied to manage land and water in a coordinated and sustainable way to balance environmental, economic and social demands at a catchment scale. It must be read alongside the policy and guidance in the NPPF and National Planning Practice Guidance and is not a substitute for that policy.


By using this Advice Note, planners and developers can provide the new homes and infrastructure that communities need at lower financial, environmental and social cost.


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